Dedicated to the passion, promotion and education of the Blues; Live, Virtual, International. For all blues fans, DJ's, musicians, promoters, educators, and 501(C)3's who appreciate eclectic, discriminating, genuine, fresh and often random articles.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chainsaw Ready to Rip Midwest

Did you ever wonder about chainsaws?  Where did they come from, and why?

I admit, I have never looked at where "Chainsaws" originated before today, and it was a bone shivering tale Wiki revealed. Some think the toothy chained invention was created by a German orthopedic surgeon in the early 1800's. Fortunately, the new and improved Chainsaw  provides superior healing, and a far more pleasurable experience.

David Dupont is not a Chicago native, but he is Chicago Blues, with a whole lot of diversity.  One of the draws to this artist is his ability to break out into his own individual style, and yet equally be seen as a traditional blues artist. He grew up in the Delta, and moved here when he was 14. His earlier guitar days include reggae and country, as well as blues, most notably touring with Junior Wells as his guitarist.

Blues fans are fickle.  What have you done for us lately, Chainsaw?  Well if you are a Chicagoan, history buff, or a well informed tourist, you might have heard of the Maxwell Street Market.  Once upon a time, blues musicians jammed there.  Dupont helped to revitalize this tradition by hosting a jam session on Sunday mornings during the past summer.  Now that, is a tradition no sports team can rival, even in Chicago.  We hope to see more of him in that capacity in warmer weather.

For those of you looking to get your Mardi Gras groove, and wish David good luck on the start of his Midwest "Acoustified/Electrified" tour, catch him at The Blue Note in Broadview on Thursday, February 24th.  It will be the best five bucks you have spent on live music in a long time.  CD's are available from Chicago Blues Records as well as the artist's website

Other dates include:

·         Friday, February 25, Memphis On MainChampaign, IL
·         Saturday, February 26, BB’s Jazz Blues & SoupsSaint Louis, MO
·         Sunday, February 27, Huey’sMemphis, TN
·         Friday, March 18, Dick O’DowsBirmingham, MI
·         Saturday, March 19, Harbor House, Detroit, MI
·         Friday/Saturday, May 7&8, Slippery Noodle InnIndianapolis, IN

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Who Was August Wilson?

August Wilson is not related to Alex Wilson or any other blues musicians.  Nor is he my Black History Month artistic pick. He is one of those people, when you meet them, they command your immediate respect.  Only, I never met him. I only know what he left behind.

I first saw a tattered copy, of a bound play in a used bookstore, The Frugal Muse.  It was red, wrinkled and ancient.  I immediately liked it, especially for a quarter.  Expecting a book about the legendary female blues singer,  I thumbed through, and realized it was a play, set on the South Side of Chicago during the 1920's.  I had never heard of him, or it!  How could that be? Who was this guy?

Wilson was an amazing voice in the world of writing.  He grew up poor in Pittsburgh, and lived a mere sixty years, before passing within two months of a liver cancer diagnosis.  

He choose to wield a pen, not a pick or a brush. His art and calling, was writing, particularly, scriptwriting.  Blues, significantly influenced the writer's life, intentions and art.  He knew enough about the music, history, and good storytelling, to write and catch the nuance's of recording musicians to get his play produced at Yale in 1984. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a behind the scenes historical glance at blues studio artists, contrasted with one indomitable female blues singer.  Wilson's play has become a must see of the Blues Community.  

Today, I saw on a newsfeed, The American Stage Theatre Company has extended the run of "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" one extra week through Feb 20, at the Raymond James Theatre.  I think it's the perfect solution to the blizzard of 2011. There is a reason it was nominated for a Tony Award.

Wilson became a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright.  He is also known for such thought provoking productions as; Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone; and Radio Golf.  

"I see the blues as a book of literature, and it influences everything I do."   ~August Wilson